Thursday, July 27, 2017

Pamela F. Hutchins – Bombshell is featured at the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Pamela F. Hutchins' New Book: Bombshell.

Author Pamela Fagan Hutchins is an award-winning and best-selling romantic mystery/suspense and hilarious nonfiction writer.








Bombshell

What Doesn't Kill You, #9


Author: Pamela Fagan Hutchins


AVAILABLE
Amazon


If you like your mysteries exotic and fast-paced, then Ava’s your girl, and Bombshell’s the novel for you!

Temp worker by day, lounge singer by night, single mom Ava is having a hard time breaking up with her long-distance boyfriend and making it without the support of her parents on the island of St. Marcos. Things improve dramatically when she lands a too-good-to-be-true job at a virtual currency exchange, where she meets a seriously sexy man, and goes to work for a boss so incredible he sponsors her on a trip to New York to record a demo. But when Ava stumbles across the raped and murdered body of a young woman, she recognizes her from a shared trauma back in their school days. Ava is devastated and throws herself into avenging the girl's death. From that moment on, it’s one bombshell after another, going off closer and closer to Ava and the people she cares about most.

Excerpt from Bombshell

Chapter One


I’m getting too old for this shit.

The Outlook Calendar warns me it’s Monday, June 22, exactly one month away from my thirty-second birthday. I can’t make ends meet as a singer without this crap temp-agency job, still only getting by with my parents’ help and an occasional boost from public assistance. My nearly-toddler’s sperm-donor father is long gone, along with any hope he’ll ever help out financially. For once I agree with my mom: I need a real job, a grown-up job, and those are few and far between on the island of St. Marcos.

I open a browser and pull up the St. Marcos Source news site, thinking I’ll scan the classifieds for something better. The lead story stops me: LAND PIRATES WAYLAY TOURISTS IN WEST END RAINFOREST. Not again.

How many times do these low-life road thieves have to hijack a carful of day trippers before the Department of Tourism passes out flyers at airport baggage claim? Rule One: no bathing suits except where there’s water. Rule Two: keep your fancy-ass cars on the east end of the island. I click on my horoscope instead of the classifieds, my talon-like nails forcing my fingers flat against the mouse. Before I can process today’s guidance, I hear the unmistakable sound of support-hose-clad thighs rubbing together, feet padding along toward me in closed-toe ballet flats. That’s McKenna. She runs ABC Temps for her parents, even though she’s way overqualified.

I want to tell her she’s better without the hose and little-girl shoes, but I don’t.

I close my browser. My phone vibrates and I glance down, quick. It’s a text from Collin, the Santa Fe cop, muscle-bound and too Top Gun cute for his own good: Why aren’t you answering me?

Collin is my best friend Katie’s brother. A notorious player whose clothes I seem to rip off every time we’re in the same zip code. He can’t take the hint to let me go. Maybe because we burned up the sheets every weekend for two months, pretending the thing between us was going somewhere. I’d told him then I couldn’t make any promises. He told me he didn’t need any. He should have believed me. I shouldn’t have believed him. Now he thinks he knows me, but he doesn’t. And that’s for the best. Keeping our relationship a secret from Katie is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and if I break up with him now, she’ll never know.

A shudder runs through me, a terrifying flashback to three officers killed in the line of duty in the last few weeks. Collin’s safe, but I can’t stand worrying some fool is going to shoot him down. I’m black, and I hate cops killing so many black people for no good reason or not enough of one—but Collin’s life matters, too. Yeah, he’s got serious potential to break my heart in more ways than one.

I think what I don’t type: It was a fling. I’m not who you think I am. Get over me.

Instead, I run a finger over my ring, a gift from my parents when I turned sixteen, gold inset with chips of ruby. It’s supposed to give me courage. My mom hoped that would be the courage to remain chaste and pure (she’d already missed that boat) and possibly, someday, fulfill her dream that I become a true “bride of Christ” (she was sorely disappointed on that one, too).

I don’t know why I still wear it, but I do. I give it a few seconds, but no burst of courage overtakes me, so I ignore Collin’s text, again. Like I have the other four. Honestly, I’ve never understood why people treat receiving messages like they’re obligated to respond immediately. Free will, baby. Or, as I like to call it, RNO: response not obligated.

Who am I kidding? Ignoring him is harder than I make it sound. I turn my phone facedown to help me stay strong. I wipe sweat from my brow. It’s stuffy and musty and just plain summer hot. ABC can’t afford AC.

McKenna brushes past me, escorting a woman to the front door. “We don’t keep plants here. Sorry.”

The woman is small and Asian and smells fresh, like lemongrass and lavender. She’s wearing a white T-shirt that says GREEN THUMB across the front. “I understand.” She hands McKenna a card. “In case you change your mind.”

The door opens and closes. McKenna slips the card into her skirt pocket.

She comes back my way, plants herself in front of my desk, her arms crossed over her ample bosom. “Ava girl.” Her calypso accent is thick, and she’s smiling at me like she’s reggae Santa Claus or something. “I sending you to the West End today. Pack up.”

St. Marcos is only twenty-six miles long and seven miles across at its widest point. You can drive from the eastern tip all the way to the west coast in less than an hour, and most of us locals live mid-island. I’ve lived in the States. I’ve commuted half an hour, even an hour to jobs. But it’s different here. Here, we moan and groan if we have to drive ten minutes. On-island—that’s how we describe the state of being present on St. Marcos, with off-island meaning we’re anywhere but here—the West End is half an hour and a different time zone from here.

I chuptz, long and loud, sucking a generous amount of spit through my teeth. I make a show of loading my purse with office supplies. The thought of the drive almost makes me long to return to the cheesy “bar tour” that my fly-by-night manager booked for me last spring—which is how I came to be gigging in New Mexico and reacquainting myself with Collin, after meeting him at Katie’s wedding a few years back. The tour turned out to be an endless series of swingers’ parties. I got a lot of propositions for threesomes, but no recording studio producer appeared out of the woodwork offering me a deal. I canned the manager and came home.

Because, yes, this slice of heaven in the Caribbean is my home and the place of my birth. This haven for the brilliant-green iguana, the churring mongoose, the bright-winged macaw, and flowers of every color and description. Of rum, endless coconuts, fragrant mangos, and passion fruit.

It’s also an inbred cesspool of politricks as usual, dog fighting, domestic abuse, and desperation. A refuge for drunkards, layabouts, and fugitives.

I feel a sudden temptation to call the manager and beg him to rebook me, even as a glorified lounge lizard. I won’t, though. The saving grace of being home is that I’m not spending time away from my too-rapidly aging parents and my one-year-old daughter. I have a few on-island gigs lined up this summer, but they’re just the same ole, same ole. Tourists drinking themselves blind on cheap rum while no-count men with more baby mamas than sense make plays for me.

McKenna cuts her eyes at me slow, getting the meaning of my chuptz. “Girl, I mean it. And you’re welcome. I hook you up with one of them EDC companies.”

I brighten. If she just tells me it’s a job as an assistant to a music producer or even a fashion designer, my day is made, even though I know it won’t be. My phone vibrates with another text. Collin again. I feel a tug at my heart. I could be in love with him if I let myself, but I’m not the love type. I’d thrown my I Ching coins that morning and asked only one question: “Will this man lead to pain?” Well, they gave me my answer, and the coins don’t lie.

I’m going to have to talk to him sooner or later, though, since his hint-taking skills are less than optimal. I opt for later.

“Thank you.” I blow McKenna a kiss. “What they do, and what I doing for them?” I sling my bag over my shoulder, already moving, my pulse thrumming with renewed hope.

The office phone rings. I ignore it, but when no one else picks it up after four rings, McKenna’s stare finally breaks me. I pick it up. “ABC Temps.” A nasally female voice assaults my eardrum. “We’re down from the City for the summer. I must have an assistant. Transfer me to someone who can make this happen ASAP.”

Well, la-di-da. “No problem. Right away, ma’am.” I switch over to my yank speech style without even thinking about it, dropping my island accent and talking with a stuffed-up nose like a continental, which is one of the nicer things we call people from the fifty United States. It’s like breathing to talk local with locals and to yank with yanks. Like how my friend Katie picks up a slow drawl when her Texas friend Emily comes around. Whatever my outer speak, it’s always just me inside my head, a black woman with a white father who’s spent most of her life repressing her island roots like the good little chameleon she is.

I transfer the call to McKenna’s voicemail.

McKenna is doing me a solid with this EDC assignment. EDC stands for Economic Development Commission, a business-incentivizing program offered by our local government in cooperation with the Feds. Translation: the US Virgin Islands are allowed to lure in people who have enough money to start a business here. It’s attractive, with generous tax incentives. It comes with a price, though, more than just the assumption propagated from popular media that rich people only move to the islands to engage in criminal activities and scurrilous tax schemes.

To gain the benefits, the off-islander must establish full residency (difficult), be subject to our Water and Power Authority (notoriously unreliable and gallingly expensive), and hire local (slim pickings). McKenna, knowing this well, is offering me up to them, because I’m local and NYU educated. Even if it is just a theater degree with a minor in classical studies. Lead roles in community theater productions are good for the ego but don’t fatten the purse, and I haven’t discovered how to make money yet from Greek and Roman mythology.

“General office work for a company with it own virtual currency. One that own a lot of other companies.” McKenna says this in a tone of awe.

To me that sounds like Greek. “Virtual current, what?” I say it like “wah.” We have a tendency to drop our ending consonants when we talk in local island accents.

“Virtual currency. It digital money, using blockchain technology. Fast, anonymous, and no regulations. People say it the future.”

“Oh yeah, sure. Blockparty. Technology of the future. And how you know all this, Miss Virgin Island Bill Gates?”

She sniffs. “Stanford MBA. I intern for a company into cryptocurrency.” And I just thought she was overqualified before. “You got no idea what blockchain is, do you?”

“None.”

She pushes wire-rimmed gold spectacles up her nose. “Blockchain a digital ledger of linked virtual currency transactions, like in a chain. It protect against fraud and the like, because it all encrypted and one link build on another.”

“That clear it right up for me.”

“You a smart girl. You figure it out.”

“Yah mon.”

“Show up on time and you be fine. And pull you top up,” she adds. She’s the one who booked me last time for a seven a.m. job after the night I’d gigged until three in the morning. What does she expect? I glance down at more brown cleavage than I expected to see. I roll my eyes and hoist the girls. Lime green fabric slips up and over them. Next time I date a rich man, I’m getting a lift. “Jealous, much?”

McKenna, wearing a charcoal circle skirt and round-neck white top that covers all her business, hands me a slip of paper with a name, address, and phone number on it. “You gonna find yourself on the wrong end of attention you don’t want, girl, and I’ma remind you ’bout this conversation.”

“You blaming women dem for bad behavior of men?” I play it cool, like I’m joking. But I learned about sexual attention as a plaid-clad innocent in grade school. Just because a Catholic school hires a man doesn’t make him holy, and the same goes for women. Since then, I’ve seen no evidence to change my mind. And I may not be loaded with money, but I have a whole lot of something with very real value. Yeah, it’s currency, and there’s nothing virtual about it.

A chill comes over me, and I freeze for a moment. A memory of Father Jerome and the unspeakable things he did to me during my school days bubbles to the surface, but I bury it deep again, fast, with all the other bad things in my life, like too many pills and too much booze, like finding my lover Guy with his throat slit and a bad man trying to frame me as a Jezebel who murdered Guy for not leaving his wife. Guy—Guy Edwards—was a Virgin Islands senator, and if it weren’t for my friend Katie, I might have spent the rest of my life in jail for a murder I didn’t commit, with too much time to fight off ugly recollections of Father Jerome and his ilk. As it was, my already-not-sterling reputation took a permanent hit. Repression is my friend.

And, no, I don’t let anyone blame women for the bad things men do. McKenna, not one for lingering, rolls her eyes at me and walks off. Support hose grinds together again. I shiver. Save the planet—say no to synthetic undergarments, I think.

But I don’t say it. I’m in a hurry. I have to drive all the way to the West End to meet some blockchain heads.



Author: Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Author Genre: Mystery, Romance, Humor And Comedy, Non-fiction

Website: Pamela Fagan Hutchins - Holding Nothing Back
Author's Blog: Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Pamela F. Hutchins - Employee Relations
Twitter: @PamelotH
E-Mail: pamela@pamelafaganhutchins.com
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

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Author Description: Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes award-winning and bestselling romantic mysteries and hilarious nonfiction, and moonlights as a workplace investigator and employment attorney. She is passionate about great writing, smart authorpreneurship, and her two household hunks, husband Eric and one-eyed Boston terrier Petey. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.




Author's Book List
Fighting For Anna - What Doesn't Kill You, #8 - A Michele Romantic Mystery
Tightly plotted and fast-paced, this romantic head-scratcher dives into 80s pop culture, a reclusive religious community, and high stakes politics.

Michele retreats to the country while her teens are away for the summer, to write the memoirs of her elderly neighbor Gidget—a reclusive former Houston art gallery owner—and learn how to be alone in the wake of her husband’s death. But when Gidget dies unexpectedly, she leaves everything to Michele except a bequest to a daughter no one knew existed. Suddenly, Michele's country quiet is shattered, and half of Texas shows up: some to help, some to contest the will, and others to make sure the mystery daughter is never found alive.


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Hell to Pay - What Doesn't Kill You, #7 - An Emily Romantic Mystery
A pulse-pounder full of humor and heart, the latest in the What Doesn't Kill You romantic mystery series.

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily has her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she’s engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante’s childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancée Nadine, one of Emily’s best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trial for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices.

Emily’s nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims a witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman. Before he can mount a defense, Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy’s ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her, and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the heeler, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack.


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Earth to Emily - What Doesn't Kill You, #6 - An Emily Romantic Mystery
Paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily only wants two little things. The first is to adopt Betsy—the girl who has stolen her heart but could be deported to Mexico at any time. The other is a second chance with her boss, Jack, a smolderingly hot and mysterious criminal defense attorney in Amarillo who runs his family’s horse ranch in New Mexico on the side.

But before Emily can dare to hope for either (or both), the obstacles between them and her mount: two runaway teenagers, an aging exotic dancer, and a dead trucker torpedo a dinner with Jack. She and Jack catch their client—who’s charged with assaulting an officer—selling stolen goods. And to top it all off, Betsy’s zealously religious and overly protective foster parents sic some questionable cops on Emily to destroy her reputation.

Emily just wants to silence all the noise and focus on her priorities: Betsy and Jack. But then the phone rings. It’s the two runaways, with an enormous secret and a desperate plea for help. They convince Emily that she’s the only one they can trust, forcing her into a horrible choice: risking the lives of these two teens, or jeopardizing her own chance at a life with the two people she cares about most.


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Heaven to Betsy - Emily #1
When a dead body swan-dives from a balcony into the pool at a wedding, gossip comes to a halt about disgraced paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily—whose husband left her for a woman who turns out to be a man. Enter Jack, a secretive attorney and sexy mix of cowboy and Indian. She refuses to work for him, until she learns about the disappearance of the six-year old daughter of his notorious client Sofia, the wedding shooter, who is also an illegal immigrant. Emily feels a strange affinity with the girl and launches a desperate search for her. Bodies pile up in her wake across Texas and New Mexico as the walls around her own secrets begin to crumble, and the authorities question whether the child is anything but a figment of her imagination.


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Going for Kona
When her husband is killed in a hit-and-run bicycling accident, it takes all of Michele Lopez Hanson’s strength not to burrow into their bed for the rest of her life. But their kids need her, and she promised herself she’d do the Kona Ironman Triathlon in Adrian’s honor, and someone seems to be stalking her family, so she slogs through the pain to keep herself on track. Her dangerously delirious training sessions become a link between her and Adrian, and she discovers that if she keeps moving fast enough to fly, she can hold onto her husband—even as she loses her grip on herself and faces her biggest danger yet.


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Finding Harmony - Book #3 in Katie & Annalise Series
Finding Harmony takes you on a high stakes dash through the islands, with laughs and voodoo balancing out the mix.

Katie’s already on edge when a dead guy shows up at Annalise and shady locals claim there are slave remains in the foundation, but when Nick doesn’t come home to her and the kids, she’s ready to lose it. A frantic Katie launches a Caribbean-wide manhunt, calling on Kurt, her stoic, steady father-in-law, and Collin, her badass big brother, to help her search air, land, and sea for her husband, who may be in very big trouble indeed.


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Audible



What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes, and How Can I Be One, Too? - Writing & Publishing
Who knew indie publishing could be this much fun? Whether you have published before or are contemplating your first book, Pamela Fagan Hutchins makes an overwhelming field manageable by presenting tried and true how-tos and a myriad of resources, including the marketing plan that got her debut novel national distribution - all with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek.


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Leaving Annalise - Katie & Annalise
One unexpected and hotly fought-over little boy, two dead bodies, and a series of home vandalisms throw Texas attorney turned island chanteuse Katie Connell into a tizzy. Juggling all of this, Bloody Mary cravings, baggage, and the bad guys too, she waffles between the jumbie house that brought her back from the brink and the man she believes is the love of her life.


Book Trailer: Leaving Annalise



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Saving Grace - Katie & Annalise Series
Katie Connell is a high-strung attorney whose sloppy drinking habits and stunted love life collide hilariously during a doomed celebrity case in Dallas. She flees Texas for the Caribbean and escapes professional humiliation, a broken heart, and a wicked Bloody Mary habit, but ends up trading one set of problems for another when she begins to investigate the suspicious deaths of her parents on the island of St. Marcos. She’s bewitched by the voodoo spirit of an abandoned house in the rainforest and discovers that she’s as much a danger to herself as the island’s bad guys are.

Most people prefer my personal Saving Grace “trailer” which was just me being silly.


Book Trailer: Saving Grace



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Hot Flashes And Half Ironmans - Women's Health and Triathlon
Middle-aged Endurance Athletics Meets The Hormonally Challenged

Women get older, dammit, and sometimes it sucks, especially for women who pride themselves on athleticism and an adventurous spirit. Hot flashes. Weight gain. Sleepless nights. Yes, it can be hard, but middle age doesn’t have to be a flashing red stop light. It’s perfectly acceptable for women of a certain age, a certain level of hormonal imbalance, and a certain amount of cellulite to don spandex and even enter the rarefied sport of endurance triathlon.

In fact, there’s a huge advantage to aging: much of the potential competition drops out in favor of the couch and a remote control. And the endurance high? The elation of dietary purity and discovering you can have arms like Madonna? The Zen of goal attainment? Better than a good Shiraz buzz. Once you get past the ugly mood swings, chafing on your girly parts, and a “kill your own mother” craving for sleep and a hot Cinnabon, that is.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins has been there and done that, with lessons learned and sense of humor (usually) intact. She completed her first triathlon at 39 and her first Half Ironman at 40. She has her eye on an M-dot tattoo in 2014.


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The Clark Kent Chronicles - ADHD & Aspergers
A Mother's Tale Of Life With Her ADHD And Asperger's Son

They’re the parents who other people secretly believe must be doing a crappy job, the ones whose children don lacrosse gloves to weed the flowerbed, won’t turn in their homework, and throw age-inappropriate tantrums in public. They’re the parents one frayed nerve short of a breakdown as they scrub off the giant perceived “L” for Loser from their foreheads, turning for help to every source they can think of, because their kids just don’t respond like other kids, because their kids aren’t like other kids. The very brains of their children are wired differently, and the disciplines, motivators, and strategies that are supposed to work on them, according to conventional wisdom, don’t.

These are the parents of children on the ADHD Spectrum, and most of them have used up their Phone a Friend Lifeline and just want a little understanding and the hope of shared knowledge from someone else who has survived a life like theirs. They are parents like Pamela Fagan Hutchins, whose son, dubbed “Clark Kent the WonderKid,” has ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Pamela takes readers on a heart-wrenching and hilarious road trip from toddler to adulthood with Clark Kent and his family, sharing their collective wisdom and empathy along the way.


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How To Screw Up Your Kids - Divorce and Stepparenting
Blended Families, Blendered Style

Married couples with children divorce 40% of the time. In less than three years after that divorce, chances are both mom and dad are remarried, and probably each to someone who has kids of their own. The single most explosive and divisive issue in those marriages? Stepparenting.

Wouldn't it be nice if we all lived in a bubble gum and sugar plum world where, without a ripple on Lake Placid, kids embraced stepparents and appreciated their contributions? Where stepsiblings didn't compete for attention and argue over favorites and fairness? Well, we don't.

So what we need when stepparenting is a good plan. A plan for blending, or blendering if you will, the disparate stepchildren and their parents into a chunky smoothie of stepfamily goodness. How To Screw Up Your Kids helps the parents everyone predicts will fail prove all the naysayers wrong. Through the use of practical human relations principles and the author's achingly honest and often hilarious stories, readers will learn to envision and instill a unique set of family values and culture into their new household, and by God, have fun doing it


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Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.